Drivers of convertibles may be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss

Oct 06, 2009

Drivers who frequently take to the road with the top down may be risking serious damage to their hearing, according to research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA.

A prospective study of the convertible-driving experience measured noise levels at speeds of 50, 60, and 70 miles per hour (mph), and indicated that drivers are consistently exposed to between 88 and 90 DbA, with a high of 99 Db. Long or repeated exposure to sounds over 85 Db is widely recognized to cause permanent . Road surface, traffic congestion, wind noise, and driving speed were all contributing factors.

Furthermore, the simple act of keeping car windows raised would significantly reduce noise exposure levels to 82 dB, even with the top down.

The authors suggest that motorcycle riders might be looked to as a positive example, because while they are consistently exposed to louder levels, as a group they more frequently use ear protection.

Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology

Explore further: The high cost of hot flashes: Millions in lost wages preventable

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Noisy workplaces can make workers deaf

Mar 10, 2009

The majority of the 650,000 employees from Quebec's manufacturing sector - specifically those working in metallurgy and sawmilling - are exposed to noise levels that exceed governmental norms.

Recommended for you

Tracking spending among the commercially insured

8 hours ago

Recent growth in health care spending for commercially insured individuals is due primarily to increases in prices for medical services, rather than increased use, according to a new study led by researchers at The Dartmouth ...

Taking aim at added sugars to improve Americans' health

12 hours ago

Now that health advocates' campaigns against trans-fats have largely succeeded in sidelining the use of the additive, they're taking aim at sugar for its potential contributions to Americans' health conditions. But scientists ...

User comments : 0